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Sunday, October 19, 2014

The "streak" era - how do you know you got the job?

I've written a post about this once: how does one know when they got the job? It is because someone said you got the job? Do you have to read between the lines and listen to what the interviewers are saying?

That's what I try to do, often I can get the feel for the interview to see where it goes. In all the other times in getting hired either the interviewers wanted to get my information down immediately to start the processing paperwork or they told me I got it anyway.

In one case I couldn't tell until I got an e-mail although years later I interviewed at this same place and got an e-mail saying that I didn't get it. In another case they had me fill out paperwork for a background check and got an e-mail letting know where to go for new hire paperwork.

You never really know until you got the phone call or e-mail stating that you got the job. That was the case with my recent job offer I got a phone call in that case.

I suppose you can never truly know. My feeling with a lot of my interviews were that they went great but still didn't result in a job offer. It's often to my surprise, but then the most pleasant of all surprises is when they make you a job offer.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

"Kill the Messenger"

You know I've recently became aware of the new Hollywood release Kill the Messenger. The film is based on a true story of Gary Webb who was an investigative reporter from the San Jose Mercury News uncovering evidence of CIA involvement with drug traffickers. Of course we learn that it was blown out of proportion by others in the media and perhaps elements of the Black community who believed the CIA was trafficking drugs into Black communities.

Either way I have little idea what to believe with this story. I've heard this story for many years and unsure whether to believe it or not. And now I recognize that well a man was about to lose his reputation, livelihood, and even his marriage in pursuit of this story.

Now I truly empathize with Gary Webb especially since I've learned he's no longer with us having been found dead in 2004 with two bullets to the head (his death was ruled a suicide). In doing some basic research it's been claimed that his findings were ultimately vindicated posthumously.

I can only wonder if the "Messenger" film only has further sparked the debate over Webb's findings or even whether or not journalists are willing to risk everything for a story that must be told.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

The odd streak has ended...

My chalkboard
You know often I've been so tempted to use sports analogies in discussing my experience job hunting these last two years. Indeed during most of my adult life. Still it's truly great to know that well I have found success and gotten some results.

Years ago when I really first started job hunting and it was during the period that I was out of Morehouse early in the 2000s the theme was "still looking". Every time I got a rejection in the snail mail I heard the words in my mind echo - "still looking".

When I think of that period I'm reminded for example that the former baseball player Barry Bonds was still looking for his world series. I could've sworn that during the World Series when he played for the San Francisco Giants those were the words of FOX Sports baseball play-by-play man Joe Buck. Bonds was "still looking" for that world series ring.

Now I'm no longer looking! Very ecstatic to know that well someone is out there ready to hire me onto their team. Perhaps I'll never entirely stop job-hunting because I'm very sure there are plenty of opportunities. For those of you who are "still looking" the job is coming just hold the course get all the help you can and stay focused.

As for the sports analogy, many things in sports are boiled down to stats. Perhaps stats as complicated as ERA or batting average in baseball. Lately I've been used the idea of 0 for this, that or another. In this case so far my average is now 1 for 14. 1 for 14 are you serious over a two year period.

Granted perhaps there are people who got more interviews than me out there will the same success rate. It could be 1 for 100 over two years who knows.

Finally, if this was on video tape or otherwise broadcast I imagine graphics and the play-by-play noting that the "streak has finally ended". All the frustration has to cease and now there is something to move forward with.

Monday, October 06, 2014

So now we know to put astronauts into suspended animation?

I became a fan of the film 2001: A Space Odyssey when I was still in high school. One plot point there was that the supercomputer of the spaceship on a mission to Jupiter went crazy - it was supposed to be an artificially intelligent machine - and made an effort to kill all the astronauts.

Two of the astronauts were piloting the ship and three other astronauts was in suspended animation. So this computer was successful in killing one of the non-suspended astronauts and killed the suspended astronauts. The surviving astronaut shut the computer down and continued to Jupiter.

I thought about that film when I saw this article. Placing astronauts in suspended animation was science fiction in 1968 when the film was released and it was science fiction back in the 1990s. While there were actually scientists studying this scenario it looks like we've started to figure out how this could be done.

The body would have to be cooled and has been used as part of medical treatment. In fact I wonder if this is akin to placing someone in a medically induced come. I wish I could answer this but you're not reading the blog of a trained medical doctor.

All the same, at one point in my life I always wanted to be an astronaut. It was excited to go on a modern day "Star Trek" even if the voyage was only to orbit on the shuttle or staying in the solar system going to the moon or to Mars. This article does discuss how we can send people to Mars and suspended animation is one way to do it without having to spend money on lots of food or anything else.

So, it seems again the future is here. Hopefully we're developing much more advanced and faster propulsion to send spacecraft to their destination and back to the earth. Which means hopefully there would be no need for suspended animation.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

A bar for online people to meet not popular in NYC...

This article out of NYC from DNA Info, it's a great idea for a bar. Why not have a place where people who "meet" online can get together and hopefully in a safe place since well meeting people is often risky anyway. This is an idea that should be replicated everywhere.

I can only imagine the Bar Rescue episode with this in mind. lol

Football

It's been years since I actually followed the football season. Football is without a doubt one of America's most popular sports fans follow not only the NFL but also the colleges as well. Perhaps on a smaller level we may have fans of high school football as well.

Unfortunately for me, I do not consider myself a football fan. Primarily my allegiance is with the Chicago Bears but often they seem to have the tendency to disappoint and over the years that's what they have done. It's hard for me to follow the football season when the Bears aren't playing at the best level possible.

I really don't remember the season where they one the Super Bowl and there are fans who continue to talk about that team as if they won more than one Super Bowl. The last season they made it to the Super Bowl was 2007 and at that it was a surprise as I really didn't follow the Bears' season that year. It was great to know that we got that close.

Another thing about football is that I've decided that it's way too hard to follow. I need to figure out what a pocket is in football is that a defensive or offensive term. The only context I'm familiar with it is in terms of the offense especially with the quarterback. Where did that come from has that term always been in the glossary?

In any case, I've often found America's original popular sport Baseball an easier sport to follow. The rules aren't that difficult or complication and over the years (especially without watching on TV) I've found that you can call how the play would end. In fact, when I went to that Sox game this summer I called a lot of the plays during the course of the game and didn't need the play-by-play.

This season is the first season I really follow what's been going on. If the Bears aren't on, I'll just follow another game. Alas I still don't follow all the transactions like I used to and that as always will prove to be very interesting no matter the sport.

So far the Bears looked good although they're 2 & 2 perhaps when they face the Carolina Panther we'll see more of what they're capable of.

Friday, October 03, 2014

So are interviews and GPAs useless for potential employees???

This article that was published in June of this year from Business Insider shows Google's answers to finding the best possible employees. And makes the case that interviews and GPA are useless in that regards:
In an interview with The New York Times' Adam Bryant, Google's Senior Vice President of People Operations Laszlo Bock explains that some of the biggest stalwarts of the hiring and recruiting world, the interview, GPA, and test scores, aren't nearly as important as people think.

Google doesn't even ask for GPA or test scores from candidates anymore, unless someone's a year or two out of school, because they don't correlate at all with success at the company. Even for new grads, the correlation is slight, the company has found.

Bock has an excellent explanation about why those metrics don't mean much.

"Academic environments are artificial environments. People who succeed there are sort of finely trained, they’re conditioned to succeed in that environment," he says.

While in school, people are trained to give specific answers, "it's much more interesting to solve problems where there isn’t an obvious answer," Bock says. "You want people who like figuring out stuff where there is no obvious answer."
I understand not taking into account GPA especially if the worker isn't that far out of school. Actually at any point in anyone's career why should this be an issue?

An interview is one way to answer how someone can deal with a question that has no answer. I've had a few of those types of interviews myself where the answer was difficult as I wasn't prepared for the question. These are questions you don't expect in a job interview in the first place.

It's not like Google eschews interviews:
The only thing that works are behavioral interviews, Bock says, where there's a consistent set of questions that ask people what they did in specific situations.

Many of the assumptions and practices we have about hiring came about because we didn't have anything better. For decades, the only (relatively) consistent data point among hires was GPA and test scores. It was an easy way to sort, and because that's the way it was always done, people stuck with it.

We can do better now. And though Google has something of a head start and a lot more data, more and more companies are catching on.

The best thing about data? It's hard for people to contest. Even when people don't want to believe that they're underperforming, it's hard to dispute years worth of numbers. "For most people, just knowing that information causes them to change their conduct," Bock says.
How do you measure underperformance? Are there certain tasks you expect employees that are measurable with numbers? And of course data can be manipulated.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Could the resume hold a candidate back?

Since I'm still job hunting, I still look at articles talking about this process. The blogmaster of Ask a Manager writes this recent article about how a resume could hold a job seeker back. I'm not sure if that's the issue in my case, but these articles can only serve to help one tighten your process up a bit.

Besides if the issue is you're not getting any interest, then the issue is something. Perhaps it's the initial presentation you send to hiring managers.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

A case of corruption in Mississippi...

I've talked about Mound Bayou - a small town in Mississippi founded by Black settlers in the late 19th century. Located in the Mississippi Delta region it recently made the news down there for a case of political corruption.

An ex-mayor of Mound Bayou embezzled some municipal owned property and money for a restaurant he opened in a nearby city. Down there it seems the local authorities mainly a state agency and Bolivar county took an interest in this crime.

The former Mayor Kennedy Johnson could fave up to 20 years in jail and $5000 fine per count.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

5 reasons iPhone still beats Android

The debate continues iPhone vs. Android devices over at The Daily Dot. Lots of good points, but I usually just pick a phone and I'm done. I recognize that every person has their reasons for choosing a particular device. People are rabid about Apple devices and people are rabid about Android devices.

And you know no one ever asks about a Windows phone device. :(

Friday, September 19, 2014

Today is the day the new iPhones are available in stores

I took a pic of this scene at the North Michigan Avenue Apple Store in Chicago on Thursday morning a little before 12 noon. On Wednesday afternoon at least two people were waiting in line to be the first in the store for the new iPhones. I never understood that, but to each their own.

Today I hope the new iPhones are on display and the design is certainly eyecatching. Perhaps I will own one in the near future.

Skin color and support of the Republican Party...

WTF??? Is the Washington Post really attempting to equate support of the Republican Party with skin color? Are they out of their minds?

Then I had to look at where this piece is coming from WaPo has a blog named "Monkey Cage". Considering the nature of this piece I could like my mind run with this title "Monkey Cage".

I haven't completely read this article, but it's not so much about Black folks as it is about other "minorities" such as Latinos and Asians. Maybe Blacks can play the whole skin tone game, but apparently there are "light-skinned" Latinos and Asians. Who knew!?!?!